ROCK ME TO SLEEP Elizabeth Akers









ROCK ME TO SLEEP
Elizabeth Akers


Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again, just for to-night!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep; -
Rock me to sleep, mother, - rock me to sleep!

Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears, -
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain, -
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay, -
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap; -
Rock me to sleep, mother, - rock me to sleep!

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded, our faces between:
Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I to-night for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep; -
Rock me to sleep, mother, - rock me to sleep!

Over my heart, in the days that are flown,
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures, -
Faithful, unselfish, and patient, like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Slumber's soft calms o'er my heavy lids creep; -
Rock me to sleep, mother, - rock me to sleep!

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold.
Fall on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead to-night,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep; -
Rock me to sleep, mother, - rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened your lullaby song:
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep; -
Rock me to sleep, mother, - rock me to sleep!